Fulham played a great match yesterday at Craven Cottage. The Cottagers played Manchester United to a 2 - 2 draw. Fulham did not win the match, but it sure felt like a victory.
In the last 3 meetings, Fulham have beaten Manchester United twice and tied them once. I think those are great results against such a powerhouse team. I am not that disappointed by the draw. I thought the Cottagers did everything they could in this match.
However, I like to look back at the game by analyzing my keys to victory. Will they give me some clues to why the result was a draw? Well, it is time to find out. Below is "what we learned from watching the Fulham 2 - 2 draw against Manchester United".
1. Fuham need to come out aggressive and be attacking from the opening whistle. Fulham came out a little flat in the beginning of the match. It was Manchester United who dictated the pace of the game. Fulham were on their heels. It really took most of the first half for the Cottagers to start to take control. By the time Fulham started to push forward they were already down a goal. In this key Fulham failed.
2. Fuham need to be either tied or ahead by half time. By getting behind by a goal at the end of the half, Fulham were always fighting an uphill battle. Their slow start definitely hurt them. In this key Fulham failed.
3. Danny Murphy needs to be a Manchester United killer once again.Danny Murphy had his moments in this match, but so did Paul Scholes for Manchester United. Murphy did make some nice passes and at times helped push the pace towards Fulham. Overall, I would say in this key Fulham succeeded.
4. The back four of Fulham need to contain Rooney and Berbatov.The back four of Fulham I thought were tremendous. Brede Hangeland did give up an own goal, but he also did great against the strikers for Manchester United. All four of them definitely did their job to help the young goalkeeper. In this key Fulham succeeded.
5. Fulham need a big game from Bobby Zamora.The Fulham striker I thought had a great game. He assisted on the Davies goal. More important he was a physical presence up front. There is no question that in this key Fulham succeeded.
As I stated in the beginning I am happy with the draw. But, for the sake of the review there are a couple of keys that could have been factors in the result of the match. Fulham did not come out aggressive and Manchester United really took the game to the Cottagers. Also, they were constantly fighting an uphill battle playing from behind. You are asking for trouble trailing to Manchester United.
These two keys probably prevented a victory and helped lead to a draw. It is too bad, because at times Fulham looked just like the team that got to the Europa League Final. The draw was the correct result, and I am fine with it.